Week 14 of the NBA season is a little bit lighter as teams push into the final month before the All-Star break and approach the trade deadline. One unique feature of this week is that the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons are headed to Europe to meet in the NBA Paris Game on Thursday.
There are no double-digit slates this week with nine games on Monday, Wednesday and Friday providing the busiest days of action. Tuesday night and Thursday night each have four games on tap in addition to the Paris game in the afternoon on Thursday. Next weekend, there are seven games on both Saturday and Sunday.
Due to their travel, the Bulls and Pistons only have one game in the coming week, so their players are challenging to utilize as fringe options or in leagues where transactions are limited. The Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs aren’t much better with only two games in the coming week, but the Toronto Raptors are on the other extreme of the schedule with five games this week, including back-to-back sets to start and finish the week. It’s pretty much business as usual for the rest of the league, with 14 teams playing four games and the other 11 teams playing three times. Make sure to take a look at both the quality and the quantity of upcoming matchups, especially if you are looking for players to make a short-term instant impact.
In this weekly post, you can find some of the hottest trending players, some deep league additions to consider and a more in-depth look at four sleeper pickups. The sleeper targets listed below aren’t quite mainstream, but they are emerging as options with plenty of potential upside. The top trending players are good pickups to consider if available but are quickly vanishing off waiver wires. The deep league options at the bottom of the post can be a help if the top options and the four sleeper pickups have already been picked up.
Things change in a hurry from day to day throughout the season, so follow along on my Twitter account @ZT_sports if you are looking for single-game streaming options, along with cheap DFS plays on a daily basis.
Top Trending Players
- PG T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers
- PG Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles Lakers
- PG/SG Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons
- PG/SG Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers
- SG/SF Victor Oladipo, Miami Heat
- SG/SF Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks
- SG/SF Royce O’Neale, Brooklyn Nets
- SG/SF Max Strus, Miami Heat
- SG/SF Naji Marshall, New Orleans Pelicans
- SG/SF Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers
- SG/SF Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder
- SG/SF Josh Richardson, San Antonio Spurs
- SF/PF T.J. Warren, Brooklyn Nets
- SF/PF Jaden McDaniels, Minnesota Timberwolves
- SF/PF Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans
- PF/C Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz
- C Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks
PF/C Isaiah Jackson, Indiana Pacers (at MIL, at OKC, at DEN, at PHX)
The Pacers have been without both Myles Turner (back) for three straight games and Tyrese Haliburton (elbow, knee) for each of the past two. Jackson has posted two extremely impressive games. He has stepped into the starting lineup and has made a strong case to stay in an involved role.
I-Jax first burst onto the scene last season with some great games after the All-Star game and the trade of Domantas Sabonis. Turner has taken a lot of the playing time this season with Jalen Smith getting plenty of work as well. The 21-year-old Jackson has had limited opportunities and only played more than 22 minutes one time this season before the past two games.
He started and played 28 minutes on Friday and put together a nice double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while also contributing an eye-popping seven blocked shots. He got another start Saturday against the Grizzlies and had 12 points, seven rebounds and four more blocked shots in 26 minutes.
Turner’s injury status is unclear, and he has also continued to be the focus of plenty of trade rumors. If Jackson gets playing time, he has proven he can contribute great points and rebounds with elite-level block upside. If you can, it makes sense to grab him in your league and evaluate if he’ll get minutes both in the four games this week and more long-term depending on the status of Turner.
SG/SF Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets (at SA, at PHX, at UTA, at GS)
The Nets are going to have to adjust to life without Kevin Durant (knee) for the next few weeks. They had a light week and only played one game since their superstar’s injury coming into Sunday’s matchup with the Thunder. It’s going to take multiple players stepping up to fill in for Durant’s offensive workload, and Harris showed he can be part of that solution with a good game on Thursday.
Harris has been playing limited minutes this year and dealing with some knee soreness as he returns after playing just 14 games last season. He played 29 minutes on Thursday, though, after moving into Durant’s spot in the starting lineup on Thursday. He contributed 18 points, five rebounds, two steals and an assist while knocking down 7-of-11 shots from the field including 4-of-7 three pointers.
If he keeps getting expanded playing time this week, he should be able to contribute good points and three-pointers with four pretty good matchups on the docket.
PG/SG Gabe Vincent, Miami Heat (at ATL, at NO, at DAL, vs. NO)
The Heat have been without Tyler Herro (Achilles) and Kyle Lowry (knee), opening the door for Vincent, Max Strus and Victor Oladipo to emerge as excellent pickups. As usual with Miami and injuries, the situation is a little murky as to how long they will be sidelined, but Vincent has proven he can contribute as long as he’s playing an expanded role.
On Thursday against the Bucks Vincent went off for a new career-high of 28 points while adding six assists, three rebounds and two steals and knocking down five three-pointers in his 41 minutes. He followed that up with a similar performance on Saturday in the rematch, scoring 27 points on five three-pointers and adding five steals, three assists and two rebounds in 40 minutes.
He probably won’t get the opportunity to keep playing 40 minutes a game all week, but he has shown he can be a key contributor for coach Erik Spoelstra. His long-term role is uncertain, but while he’s locked in like this, he makes a nice short-term add with the upside to bring great guard production in scoring, three-pointers and steals. He doesn’t typically hand out a lot of assists but has shown he can step into that role in the past as well.
Sure, the Magic only play two games this week, but that doesn’t really impact this potential pickup since he’s an option to grab and stash for further down the road. Isaac is a player to consider adding, though, especially if you can stash him in an IR spot until he’s ready to return.
The 25-year-old is just starting to get in some game action after a lengthy recovery process after tearing his ACL while playing in the bubble in 2020. He played 16 minutes for the Lakeland Magic in the G League on Wednesday and finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.
In his 20 games before being sidelined, Isaac was averaging 12.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 blocked shots and 1.8 steals in just over 30 minutes per game. After such a long layoff, though, it may be a while before he returns to that level of production. He still has a lot of ramping up to do and will step into a crowded Magic frontcourt when available, but he has a very high ceiling if he can return to fully healthy. He’s already being stashed in many leagues but is still available on about three-quarters of waiver wires.
Other options to consider
- PG Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies
- PG/SS Donte DiVincenzo, Golden State Warriors
- PG/SG Jevon Carter, Milwaukee Bucks
- SG/SF Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets
- SF/PF Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves
- SF/PF Grant Williams, Boston Celtics
- SF/PF Oshea Brissett, Indiana Pacers
- SF/PF Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks
- PF/C Trey Lyles, Sacramento Kings
- PF/C Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors
- PF/C Zach Collins, San Antonio Spurs
- C Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.